Today in History:

33 Series I Volume XIII- Serial 19 - Missouri - Arkansas Campaign


General Blanchard of a copy of the Secretary's order I recalled General Roane.

With the view to revive the hopes of loyal men in Missouri and to get troops from that Sate I gave authority to various persons to raise companies and regiments there and to operate as guerrillas. They soon became exceedingly active and rendered important services, destroying wagon trains and transports, tearing up railways, breaking telegraph lines, capturing towns, and thus compelling the enemy to keep there a large force that might have been employed elsewhere.

The victory won at Lone Jack by Colonels Cockrell and Jackman, aided by Captain Quantrill, was one of the most brilliant affair of the war, resulting in the complete rout of a superior force and the capture of their artillery-two splendid bronze rifles-with the horses and full equipments, which were safely brought to me, and afterward proved very valuable.

Besides the officers above mentioned, Colonel Porter and others highly distinguished themselves and greatly annoyed the enemy. I regret that the difficulty of communicating with me while they were so employed prevented any written reports, and leaves me unable to speak of their operations in the terms deserved.

Missourians in Arkansas belonging to the Old State Guard were strongly desirous to revive that organization. Embarrassment on that score was prevented by accepting their general officers-Brigadier-Generals McBride and Rains-into the Confederate service, conditioned upon the approval of the Secretary of War. The number of these men was not great nor were they embodied; but they were tried soldiers, full of zeal for the cause, and it would have been a serious misfortune to have lost their services or to have been involved in dissensions with them.

Being apprised that there were large bodies of troops in Texas unemployed, I applied to Brigadier-General Hebert and McCulloch to send, or, if practicable, bring them to me. The action of both these officers was prompt, liberal, and patriotic, and I take this opportunity to acknowledge my obligation to them. They sent me many fine regiments, some of which came armed and others were armed by me.

In view of the dangers that threatened to overwhelm my district, I decided that all cotton in Arkansas and North Louisiana was in imminent danger of falling into the hands of the enemy. Being of that opinion, it was my duty, under the act of Congress of March 17, 1862, and the order of the War Department thereon, to take such steps as would certainly put this property out of the enemy's reach. To defer taking it into possession until the enemy should get in the immediate vicinity and then rely upon the owners to destroy it would be puerile. Wherever that had been tried the enemy got at least five bales out of every ten. Whether this resulted from the fears or the cupidity of the owners was immaterial. I determined to dispose of the matter differently and effectually. An order was issued seizing all the cotton which I regarded as in danger, and directing receipts given for it by agents appointed for the purpose. The same order directed that all cotton adjacent to the enemy's lines should be burned immediately; that the remainder should be removed 20 miles from any navigable stream and burned upon the approach of an enemy; but that out of all, as far as practicable, 10 pounds should be issued as a gratuity to each member of every family for domestic manufactures. The distribution in 10-pound parcels was as certain a mode of keeping the cotton